PORTLAND, Ore. — Of the three people shot by a gunman at a crowded Oregon shopping mall on Tuesday, only one survived - 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko, who remains in serious condition.
Two other people were killed: 54-year-old Cindy Ann Yuille, a nurse described as “everybody’s friend” and 45-year-old Steven Mathew Forsyth, a father of two and business owner.
“Steven Mathew Forsyth was a loving husband, father of two children, son, brother, uncle, youth sports coach and friend to the many people who had the privilege to meet him,” Forsyth’s family said in statement.
Chaos broke out Tuesday after the masked gunman, identified as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, began shooting, using an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle in the Clackamas Town Center food court, authorities said. He then made his way through the crowded mall, attempting to gun down shoppers and workers.
His rifle jammed during the attack, but he managed to get it working again, authorities said. He later shot himself.
Shevchenko’s family said that her classmate at Clackamas Middle School Alyona immediately called 911 after her friend was shot and remained by her side until emergency responders arrived. The friend’s last name was withheld in a statement from Shevchenko’s family to protect the girl’s privacy.
Shevchenko has a large family who has been by her bedside non-stop since the incident, said Oregon Health and Science University physician Laszlo Kiraly, one of her trauma surgeons.
The surgeon said Wednesday that he is optimistic that Shevhenko will survive, but he remains cautious as the assault weapon used caused very serious and life-threatening injuries.
Schevchenko arrived at the hospital awake but confused Tuesday night with a collapsed lung, blood in her chest and active bleeding from the wounds, according to Kiraly.
She underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from the bullet Tuesday night and was recovering Wednesday.
Due to the velocity of bullets from this weapon, she suffered contusions to her lungs and liver. Kiraly said that with weapons like this, there is the risk of continued tissue damage from the blast. She also faces the risk of infection and the potential for post-traumatic stress disorder.
While the medical staff continues to monitor her well-being, they expect she will be at the hospital at least a week. Kiraly said he expects she will have significant rehabilitation ahead but says she has a strong support network through her family.
“I’m optimistic for her full recovery,” said Kiraly. “I think she has everything she needs to recover.”
The two victims who died, Yuille and Forsyth, were shot at the food court.
“Cindy was everybody’s friend. She was a wonderful person who was very caring and put others first,” Cindy Ann Yuille’s family said in a statement.
Yuille was a nurse at a hospice along with her husband, her employer, Kaiser Permanente said.
“Cindy was a beloved caregiver for the kind and compassionate support she provided for patients and families at times of impending loss and need,” a company statement said.
Forsyth owned at least two businesses, one of them a mall store registered with the state just two weeks ago.
The other was a marketing firm called Big Feat Marketing. Before leaving to start his businesses, Forsyth worked in sales for a group of Portland radio stations, KGW-TV reported.
“Our family is mourning from losing a great person,” Entercom Communications vice president Tim McNamara told the station.
Valdes reported from Seattle. Associated Press writer Jonathan J. Cooper contributed from Portland, Ore.